AnnaMarie Prati

The Project

Applied Science Research is a course for students interested in studying advanced topics in science and engineering. The main philosophy of ASR is to let students set themselves an ambitious goal and then learn the science/engineering needed to accomplish it. The course is geared toward students who envision a career in science or engineering or are simply curious about how things work. In the first semester, students undertake four projects designed to build important universal skills that will serve them well in their spring semester projects and also in future careers as scientists or engineers. By conducting two assigned experiments and building two energy projects in the fall, students acquire detailed knowledge of Stirling engines, atmospheric science and data analysis, electric motors, signal-to-noise studies, engineering design and optimization, all different types of green energy possibilities, and how to design, conduct and analyze an experiment. In the second semester students specialize on a science or engineering research topic of their choice. The course is student-centered and student-driven. Students choose the topics, experiments and projects that interest them. At the conclusion of the second semester students compile their work, write a final science or engineering paper, and give a full presentation of their work and results.

from his nomination....

"Chris worked with a cosmic ray detector to study cosmic ray muons originating from various sources in outer space, including supernovas and possibly the magnetic field disturbances on the surface of the Sun known as sunspots. What Chris did was to take an existing system I had built and write a program in Python that read out the raw electronic signals from the data acquisition board. He was then able to analyze the signals coming out of a detector consisting of a scintillator, photo-multiplier tubes, and the data acquisition board.

In other words, starting with just the raw laboratory equipment he wrote a program that not only made it user-friendly but also interpreted the signals coming from the data-acquisition board into usable numbers. He also calibrated the cosmic ray detector system, which is always the first part of such an experiment. He did a very thorough and ingenious job of this. In the world of particle physics this is called “plateauing the detector,” and that’s what he did, by finding the most efficient place to set the voltages on the photo-multiplier tubes. This allowed him to minimize the amount of electronic noise and maximize the detection efficiency.

This work took him most of the spring semester, but in the final two weeks he conducted a diurnal (day/night) experiment. He took data during the day and again at night, using the Earth as a huge shield for solar muons. Muons come into our atmosphere from the Sun, and though some will penetrate the Earth, many are absorbed in its huge mass. If there are muons coming from the Sun, one would expect to detect fewer at night due to this shielding effect of the Earth.

Chris’s outstanding work set a very solid base for future students in Applied Science Research to build on his experiment by checking out pressure effects and increasing the statistics to lower the error bars. It will also be possible to do many other experiments using the detector. Thanks to Chris’s work on the code and on calibrating the detector system, future students will be able, for example, to measure the lifetime of muons, search for supernova explosions, or confirm Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.."

Dr. James Dann, Science Teacher

Chris Rebert '08
Final Project Paper: Muon lifetimes

Christopher Rebert
Applied Science Research
Spring 2008
pdf version

Final Project Paper: Muon lifetimes

I. Abstract
In this project, the number of atmospheric muons was measured at day and night using provided scintillators and a QuarkNet DAQ board. This entailed raw count calibration, counter plateauing, and the creation of a Python program to more easily interact with the QuarkNet board. Experimental results support the idea of solar muon emission, with coincidence rates increasing until a noon peak of 62.64 Hz (when the Sun is approximately overhead and closest to the Earth's surface) and then decreasing all the way down to 32.46 Hz at 2AM the following morning with the Sun shining on the opposite side of the Earth.

II. Motivation and History
Originally, I had intended to do an experiment proving relativity by showing a discrepancy in the lifetimes of cosmic ray muons, which sounded particularly intriguing to me.[1] It would also involve writing a program to communicate with the DAQ unit, and being a programmer, this piqued my interest. However, once Dr. Dann had located the exact paper outlining the experiment, we both concluded that it would not be feasible for a high school student considering the limited time remaining in the course. However, having already made significant progress on my computer program and finished initial calibration, I decided to proceed with an alternate muon-related experiment. After consulting further with Dr. Dann, it was decided that I would do a day-night comparison experiment, wherein I would count the number of muons per hour during day and night and see if there was an appreciable difference between the night and day numbers.

There have been a few fairly recent studies about atmospheric muon detection. In [2], the experimenters used an underwater neutrino telescope and evaluated its performance as well as that of their DAQ system. They also measured muon flux as a function of zenith angle and found their data to be in line with previous measurements and predictions. [3] was a similar experiment, measuring muon flux at the South Pole at 5 different zenith angles using a unique scintillator compound. [4] examines muon flux at several altitudes and uses the data to calculate the error in neutrino flux generated by a certain neutrino interaction model, which they then go on to refine themselves. [5] uses cosmic ray energy spectrum data from a balloon experiment to calculate cosmic ray muon flux at ground level, and finds the results to be in keeping with those of similar experiments.

III. Theory of operation
To begin with, according to the Standard Model of particle physics, the muon (symbol: μ) is an elementary particle with electric charge -1e and spin ½. It was discovered by Carl D. Anderson, winner of the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics, in 1936 at Caltech.[6] When cosmic rays, high-energy particles from space, hit atoms in the atmosphere, they react producing, among other things, pions, non-elementary particles that quickly decay into muons and neutrinos via the following reaction:
π− → μ− + νμ T
hese muons then continue traveling along almost exactly the same path as their progenitor pions. It is also theorized that the Sun could be producing muons as a result of its nuclear reactions.[7]

When a muon hits a scintillator, the scintillator then absorbs the radiation and in response fluoresces.[8] The light produced is then directed into a Photomultiplier Tube (PMT). In the PMT, after being focused by a lens, the photons are converted into electrons by a photocathode. These electrons go through a MicroChannel Plate (MCP), a plastic disc with metal electrodes on each side and millions of microscopic holes in it. High-voltage bursts that are constantly sent through the electrode pair accelerate the electrons through the microchannels in the plate, causing cascaded secondary emission, drastically increasing the number of electrons.[9]

These electrical impulses are then conveyed via Lemo signal cables to ports on the QuarkNet DAQ board for processing . After being amplified by 10x, the signal is sent through discriminators. The discriminators check whether the signal meets a specified threshold level set by potentiometer. If it does, then this constitutes an incident and the incident counter for that scintillator is incremented. And if at least a specified number of incidents occur within a specified time interval, this constitutes a coincidence and the coincidence counter is incremented. There are also 2 parameters, d and w, The incidence and coincidence counts can then be read by computer over a serial cable connection.[10]

The interactive console-based Python[11] script communicates using the simple ASCII-based commands defined in the user manual[10] while presenting a friendlier menu-driven interface to users and not requiring them to know anything about the DAQ board's command language. Note that the script should work on both Windows and unix (including Mac) systems, but only Windows was used in this project due to the difficulty of locating a Mac with a serial port or a serial port adapter. For further information on how the script operates, see the heavily commented source in Appendix A.

IV. Design
Due to uncertainty as to their effect, d and w were left at their default values (d = 6 = 144ns, w = 10 = 240ns)[10] throughout the experiment. -0.3V was used as the threshold voltage value throughout this experiment on the advice of Dr. Dann. All experiments took place in the first-floor ASR classroom at Menlo School, approximately at ground level.

Before performing the day-night experiment, it is necessary to “plateau” the scintillators. This is done in 2 steps: raw-count calibration and multiple counter plateauing. Plateauing is needed to compensate for differing PMT gain and aging/degredation of the scintillator material in order to get accurate data. Plateauing adjusts the PMT voltage so that the data acquired contains a minimum of electronic noise and a maximum of real muon interactions. If the voltage is set too high, then electronic noise will be heavily amplified and give false positives. If the voltage is set too low, then the amount of data acquired will be significantly decreased only high-energy muons will be detected while low or medium energy muons will be ignored, resulting in the loss of legitimate data. In the multi-counter plateauing step, the “flat” part of the graph is chosen as this indicates that one is detecting most of the muons present with only minimum electronic noise and increasing the voltage slightly is finding no additional muons. The edges of the graph go up and down exponentially due to the cascading effect used by the PMTs.

For the raw count calibration, PMT voltage was varied and incidence counts were taken at each voltage setting for ~45s. From this the incidence rate was calculated. The scintillators were laid flat on a countertop with nothing on top of them so as to avoid any extra muon shielding and expose maximum surface area to skyward muon detection. As a muon incidence rate of 40Hz at ground level had been established as the accepted value[12], the PMT voltage was set to the voltage setting which gave a reading closest to 40Hz until after counter plateauing was done. For the plateauing experiment and the day-night experiment, the scintillators were placed one on top of another in a “sandwich” configuration, with some wood blocks used to space and stabilize them. Scintillator “D” was not used due to time constraints and only 3 scintillators being required for plateauing. For ease of explanation in the plateauing experiment, let:

In the plateauing experiment, 2-fold coincidences between 1 & 2 were counted for ~120s and then 2-fold coincidences between 1 & 3 were counter for ~120s. The ratio of the frequency of the former over the frequency of the latter term is then calculated. This process is then repeated for several PMT voltage values, and the frequency ratio vs. PMT voltage is then plotted. The voltage where the graph is flattest is then the optimal value. The scintillators are then repositioned appropriately and the entire process conducted again to plateau the next scintillator until all of them have been plateaued.

In the day-night experiment, 2-fold coincidences between the scintillators were counted and polled periodically throughout consecutive ~1-hour periods with the starting and ending times of each period noted. Simple division yields average muon rates for each 1-hour period, which can then be plotted.

V. Results
The results of the initial scintillator calibration may be found in Tables 2-5 in Appendix B and Figures 1-4 which follow.

Figure 1: Graph of scintillator “A” raw count data. Optimal voltage setting: 0.917V, which gave reading of 40.18HzGraph of Scintillator A


Figure 2: Graph of scintillator “B” raw count data. Optimal voltage setting: 0.983V, which gave reading of 39.83HzGraph of Scintillator B


Figure 3: Graph of scintillator “C” raw count data. Optimal voltage setting: 1.019V, which gave a reading of 39.62HzGraph of scintillator C


Figure 4: Graph of scintillator “D” raw count data. Optimal voltage: 0.910V, which gave a reading of 38.31HzGraph of scintillator D


Data Table 1: Plateauing results for scintillator “A”Data table 1


Data Table 2: Plateauing results for scintillator “B”datatable 2


Data Table 3: Plateauing results for scintillator “C”

Unfortunately, I was unable to figure out how to create an Excel graph with a logarithmic scale as is required for graphs of the plateauing data to be intelligible, but exponential trends are clearly visible in the data, and based on [10], ratios closest to 1.0 indicate optimal voltage. These voltages are summarized in Table 4.

Data Table 4: Optimum voltages for scintillators based on plateauing

The following experimental results (Table 5 & Figure 5) from the day-night muon detection experiment support the idea of solar muon emission because the muon coincidence rates increased to a noon peak of 62.64 Hz (when the Sun is approximately overhead and closest to the Earth's surface) and then decreased all the way down to 32.46 Hz at 2AM the following morning, with the Sun shining all the way on the opposite side of the Earth. This correlation of Sun exposure and muon coincidences suggest that the Sun is outputting muons, which are then detected when the Sun is visible thus increasing the observed muon counts. However, as discussed in the Conclusion's error section, these data do not prove definitively that the Sun is emitting muons.

Data Table 5: Data from day-night muon flux experiment (see pdf for Table 5)


Figure 5: Graph of day-night experiment data with error bars. Error calculated using standard deviation. Hour values greater than 24 indicate times in the following day.graph


VI. Conclusion
Overall, the project was a success though its solar muon results are not definitive. The experimental results (Table 1 & Figure 5) support the idea of solar muon emission due to the correlation between the distance between the Sun and the Earth's surface and the observed muon coincidence rates, with a noon peak of 62.64 Hz and a minimum value of only 32.46 Hz at 2AM the following morning, with the Sun facing roughly the other side of the planet.

Error for the day-night experiment was calculated using standard deviation of the coincidence frequencies, as shown in Figure X's error bars. Due to the magnitude of error involved, approximately +/-10 on average, our conclusions regarding noticeable solar muon activity are only probable, not certain, but the data does certainly seem to suggest that the solar muon effect does exist. Error in this experiment could have been caused by irregularities/aging of the scintillator material or PMTs, QuarkNet hardware malfunction, programming error in the Python script, unexpected muon shower or other non-solar fluctuation in natural muon emission, unknown shielding effects of the experiment site, or unknown unnatural sources of muon emission rates. These could have caused the numbers to be biased or entirely incorrect, though their coherency makes this less likely.

Over the course of the project, much was learned about interfacing with scientific hardware as well as the particle physics involved in the experiments. Unfortunately, much time was taken up by learning and trying to understand the somewhat arcane operation of QuarkNet board, which left less time in which to perform the actual experiments.

Future work could include re-doing of the experiments for longer time periods to further minimize error, calibration and plateauing of scintillator “D”, and enhancement of the program produced including proper handling of the integer overflow of the QuarkNet incidence and coincidence counters, and parsing of the live “data words” stream the board makes available but was not utilized by this project. Unfinished code for the data words processing is included in the source. Hopefully, future classes or projects can build on the experience and tools gleaned from this experiment to do more interesting or complex experiments.

VII. Bibliography
[1] Nichols A. Romero & Mukund T. Vengalattore, Speed and Decay of Cosmic Ray Muons, Junior Physics Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1998

[2] The NESTOR Collaboration (Aggouraset. al), A measurement of the cosmic-ray muon flux with a module of the NESTOR neutrino telescope, Astroparticle Physics 23, p377–392, 2005

[3] Bai et. al, Muon flux at the geographical South Pole, Astroparticle Physics, Volume 25, Issue 6, p361-367, 7/2006

[4] Sanuki et. al, Atmospheric neutrino and muon fluxes, 29th International Cosmic Ray Conference Pune 00, p101–104, 2005

[5] Ochanov, Calculation of the atmospheric muon flux motivated by the ATIC-2 experiment, 30th International Cosmic Ray Conference, 6/2007

[6] Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia, Muon, Wikimedia Foundation Inc.,, last modified 5/08/2008 3:14PM UTC

[7] Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia, Pions, Wikimedia Foundation Inc.,, last modified 3/23/2008 1:06PM UTC

[8] Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia, Scintillator, Wikimedia Foundation Inc.,, last modified 3/22/2008 10:13AM UTC

[9] Jeff Tyson, How Night Vision Works, Howstuffworks,

[10] Rylander et. al, QuarkNet/Walta/CROP Cosmic Ray Detectors User's Manual, 08/2004

[11] Python programming language, version 2.5, Guido van Rossum et al., Python Software Foundation,, 4/2008

[12] Dr. James Dann, Applied Science Research class, Menlo School, Atherton, CA, 2007-2008

The author/experimenter would like to take this opportunity to thank:

Appendix A. - Python scripts
Please note that line-wrapping by the word processor may have slightly altered the sources' whitespace.

(see the pdf for the correct formating of the code) – user-friendly console interface to the QuarkNet DAQ board
#!/usr/bin/env python
#Program to facilitate interaction with QuarkBoard #Copyright 2008 Christopher V. Rebert
from __future__ import division
import serial
from time import sleep, time, strftime
from menulib import *
from sys import exit
from itertools import izip, chain, repeat
from time import time, sleep
from csv import writer from os.path import exists

NEWLINE = '\r'#Quarkboard's newline char
PORT = None# serial connection to QuarkBoard TRIGGER_PERIOD = -1#'d' in the manual TMC_DELAY = -1#'w' in the manual
NS_PER_TICK = 24#tick = 24 nanoseconds
DATA = None #log file
DATA_DIR = "C:/Documents and Settings/MenloTech/Desktop/"#None #folder to store logs in
DATA_EXT = ".csv" #extension of log files OUTPUT = True

def writeln(s):
'''Write line of text to board with proper newline char''' PORT.write(s + NEWLINE)

if False:##__debug__:
old_write = writeln
def new_write(s):
print "@@@", s
writeln = new_write

def readline():
'''Read a line of output from the board'''
line = PORT.readline().strip()
if __debug__: pass ##print "GOT:", line
return line

BOARD_DELAY = 1#in seconds
def eatLine(n=1):
'''Retrieve and discard next output line from the board''' for i in xrange(n):
sleep(BOARD_DELAY)#wait for board to catch up readline()

def hexSans0x(n):
'''Returns string representing integer "n" in base 16 without
leading "0x"'''
return hex(n)[2:].upper()

##def _int2bin(n, bits=8):
## '''Returns int "n" represented in binary as a string, using
"count" number of digits'''
## return "".join([str((n >> y) & 1) for y in range(count-1, -1, -1)])

##def hex2binDigits(hexNum):
## #convert from hex to string of binary digits ##
#then reverse string so digits[n] is nth bit (n starts @ 0) ## digits = ''.join(reversed(_int2bin(int(hexNum, 16)))) ## return digits

def binary2int(bin):
return int(''.join(reversed(bin)), 2)

#utility function from itertools recipes
def groupIn(n, iterable, padvalue=None):
"grouper(3, 'abcdefg', 'x') --> ('a','b','c'), ('d','e','f'), ('g','x','x')" return list(izip(*[chain(iterable, repeat(padvalue, n-1))]*n))

def connect():
'''Connect to serial port QuarkBoard is connected to and output connection details.
Returns opened PySerial serial.Serial object, or exits on failure.''' global PORT print "Opening serial port...", try: PORT = serial.Serial(port=0, baudrate=19200, xonxoff=True) except serial.SerialException, e: print "failed" print "Error while connecting:", e.message print "Exiting on error!" exit(1) else: print "done" print 'Connected on serial port #%s' %(PORT.port,) ## print 'Baud rate:', PORT.baudrate ## print 'Xon/Xoff enabled?:', PORT.xonxoff ## print 'Timeout:', PORT.timeout, ## if PORT.timeout is not None: print "seconds" ## else: print stopCounting() VERIFICATION_GREETING = "Quarknet Scintillator Card" EXTRA_GREETING_LINES = 3 RESET_DELAY = 1 def resetBoard(): '''Reset board to defaults. Also confirms that board is connected''' if OUTPUT: print "Resetting board configuration to defaults..." writeln("RE") sleep(RESET_DELAY) if VERIFICATION_GREETING not in readline(): if OUTPUT: print "failed" raise IOError, "Card not connected (properly)" #QUESTION: add 'SA 1' or 'SA 2' here???? try both ways eatLine(EXTRA_GREETING_LINES) if OUTPUT: print "done" ##def disableCounters(): ## '''Disable coincidence counters''' ## print "Disabling coincidence counters...", ## writeln("CD") ## eatLine() ## print "done" def enableCounters(): '''Re-enable coincidence counters and start displaying data lines''' if OUTPUT: print "Enabling coincidence counters...", writeln("CE") eatLine(2) if OUTPUT: print "done" def setupChannels(fold, channels):#bit-twiddling has been checked to be theoretically correct '''Sets coincidence level and enables desired channels. fold - int indicating coincidence level required channels - list of bools specifying which channels on/off''' if len(channels) != 4: raise ValueError, "On/off state not specified for all channels" if fold < 1 or fold > 4: raise ValueError, "Invalid # of channels specified" if OUTPUT: print "Enabling channels & setting coincidence level...", leftChar = hexSans0x(fold - 1) channels.reverse() #convert channels from bools to ints (0 or 1) #then combine into binary string, and convert that to hex rightChar = hexSans0x(int(''.join([str(int(chan)) for chan in channels]), 2)) writeln("WC 00 "+leftChar+rightChar) eatLine(2) if OUTPUT: print "done" def stopCounting(): '''Stop incidence and coincidence counters.''' global OUTPUT if OUTPUT: print 'Stopping counters...', oldOutput = OUTPUT OUTPUT = False setupChannels(4,[False]*4) OUTPUT = oldOutput if OUTPUT: print 'done' def setTriggerPeriod(ticks): '''Set (in ticks) how close time pulses must be to cause a trigger''' global TRIGGER_PERIOD #period is difference between memory cells 01 and 02, so set cell 01 to 0 TRIGGER_PERIOD = ticks if OUTPUT: print 'Setting trigger period ["d"]...', writeln("WT 01 00") eatLine(2) writeln("WT 02 %s" % (hexSans0x(ticks).zfill(2),)) eatLine(2) if OUTPUT: print "done" def setGateWidth(ticks): '''Set "gate width" ("w" in the board manual) to given value in ticks''' if OUTPUT: print 'Setting gate width ["w"]...', TMC_DELAY = ticks bits = hexSans0x(ticks).zfill(4) #4 hex digit number split across 2 memory cells writeln("WC 02 %s" % (bits[2:],)) eatLine(2) writeln("WC 03 %s" % (bits[:2],)) eatLine(2) if OUTPUT: print 'done' class ScalerData(object): '''Represents output of "DS" command''' def __init__(self, scalers, coins):#, timeOverThresh): self.scalers = scalers self.coins = coins#coincidence count #self.timeOver = timeOverThresh def readScalers(): '''Return ScalerData obj representing output from "DS" cmd''' if OUTPUT: print "Reading scaler values...", writeln("DS") eatLine()#eat echoing of cmd pairs = readline().strip().split(' ')[1:]#split @ spaces, ignore leading "DS" field hexVals = [pair.split('=')[1] for pair in pairs]#grab hex number from 'S1=846738'-like fields scalers = [int(val, 16) for val in hexVals]#convert hex to integer scalers.pop()#discard S5, the 1PPS signal, GPS-related if OUTPUT: print 'done' print 'Scaler values:', scalers return ScalerData(scalers, scalers[4]) def prompt4chans(): '''Prompt user for coincidence and channel settings''' channels = [ask4bool("Enable scintillator %s?" % i) for i in xrange(4)] nFold = ask4num("Detection fold to be considered a coincidence", 1, 4) setupChannels(nFold, channels) def prompt4period(): '''Prompt user for coincidence trigger period''' setTriggerPeriod(ask4num('Period ["d"] for triggers to be considered a coincidence [in %s ns ticks]' % NS_PER_TICK, 2)) def prompt4width(): '''Prompt user for gate width''' setGateWidth(ask4num('Gate width ["w"]', TRIGGER_PERIOD - 1)) def terminal(): '''Gives user terminal-like access to board''' connect() print 'You now have terminal access to the Quarkboard.' print 'Enter "end" to terminate the session.' while True: input = raw_input("QuarkNet> ")#get cmd from user if input.lower() == 'end': print 'Exiting...' exit(0) writeln(input) sleep(1) while PORT.inWaiting() > 0:#display output print '========= ', readline() def filename2logPath(filename, ext): '''Generates full path to log file based on given filename''' return DATA_DIR + filename + ext def makeValidator(ext): def _validator(name): '''Checks whether a filename has already been used in the log directory''' path = filename2logPath(name, ext) return not exists(path) return _validator def ask4aLog(prompt, ext): '''Prompt user for log file name and return full path of desired log file''' return filename2logPath(ask4file(prompt, makeValidator(ext)), ext) def prompt4log(): '''Prompt user for file to log to and open the file.''' createLog(ask4aLog("Filename to log data to?", DATA_EXT)) def createLog(filepath): '''Create log file or die on error''' global DATA if OUTPUT: print "Creating log file '%s'..." % filepath, try: DATA = file(filepath, 'w') except EnvironmentError, err: print print "Error opening log file:", str(e) print "Exiting on error..." raise SystemExit else: if OUTPUT: print "done" print print ##def log(line): ## '''Write line to log file.''' ## LOG.write(line+"\n") ##def parseEventLine(line): ## fields = line.split(' ')[:9]#chop off GPS fields ## log(','.join(fields)) ## #triggerCount = int(fields[0], 16) ## #riseFalls = [(parseRise(rise), parseFall(fall)) for rise, fall in groupIn(2, fields[1:])] ## ##def parseRise(hexVal): ## bits = hex2binDigits(hexVal) ## ticks = binary2int(bits[:5]) ## valid = bool(int(bits[5])) ## newTrigger = bool(int(bits[7])) ## ##def parseFall(hexVal): ## bits = hex2binDigits(hexVal) ## ticks = binary2int(bits[:5]) ## valid = bool(int(bits[5])) DEFAULT_D = 6 DEFAULT_W = 10 def calibrationExpmt(): ## f = file(ask4aLog("Filename to log incidents to?", ".csv"), 'wb') w = writer(DATA)#f) print 'Connect scintillator to QuarkBoard port #0.' wait4user() w.writerow(["scintillator", ask4str("Scintillator's designation")]) w.writerow(["trigger period [d] (ticks)", DEFAULT_D]) w.writerow(["gate window [w] (ticks)", DEFAULT_W]) fieldNames = ["voltage", "time (s)", "scaler", "scal freq (Hz)"] w.writerow(fieldNames) DURATION = ask4num("Duration of each run (sec)", kind=int) print "Connect scintillator to be calibrated to port #0." wait4user() try: while True: connect() v = ask4num("Scintillator voltage (V)?", kind=float) setTriggerPeriod(DEFAULT_D) setGateWidth(DEFAULT_W) init = _ask4boardValue() print "***Gathering data. This will take ~"+str(DURATION), "seconds...***" prevOutput = OUTPUT OUTPUT = False start = time() setupChannels(1, [True] + 3*[False]) sleep(DURATION) s = readScalers() end = time() print "***Data gathered!***" OUTPUT = True scal = s.scalers[0] - init ## c = s.coins duration = end-start freq = scal/duration row = [v, duration, scal, freq] print "Incidence frequency:", freq, "Hz" w.writerow(row) PORT.close() if ask4bool("Done with this scintillator?"): break print "Power-cycle the QuarkBoard." print "Also, change the voltage setting on the scintillator being calibrated." wait4user() DATA.flush() finally: DATA.close() exit(0) def _ask4counter(prompt): '''Asks the user for a number corresponding to a port #.''' return ask4num(prompt, mini=0,maxi=3,kind=int) def coincidenceCount(): return readScalers().coins def _runCoinExpmt(chans, PLATEAU_DURATION): global OUTPUT connect() setTriggerPeriod(6) setGateWidth(10) offset = coincidenceCount() print "***Gathering datum. Please wait", '~'+str(PLATEAU_DURATION), "seconds...***" oldOutput = OUTPUT OUTPUT = False start = time() setupChannels(2, chans) sleep(PLATEAU_DURATION) coins = readScalers().coins - offset PORT.close() end = time() OUTPUT = oldOutput print "***Done gathering datum***" elapsed = end - start freq = coins / elapsed return freq ALL_OFF = [False]*4 def _1plateauDatum(top, mid, bot, PLATEAU_DURATION): print "*****Gathering datapoint...*****" first = ALL_OFF[:] first[top] = first[mid] = True second = ALL_OFF[:] second[top] = second[bot] = True numer = _runCoinExpmt(first, PLATEAU_DURATION) print "Power-cycle the QuarkBoard." wait4user() denom = _runCoinExpmt(second, PLATEAU_DURATION) ratio = numer / denom print "*****Datapoint calculated*****" print "Coincidence frequency ratio:", ratio return ratio def plateauExpmt(): PLATEAU_DURATION = ask4num("Duration of one plateauing experiment run (sec)", mini=0, kind=float) plateaued = 1 top = 0 bot = 2 print 'Connect 3 scintillators in a "sandwich" configuration as follows:' print 'Top: scintillator connected to port #%s' % top print 'Middle: scintillator to be plateaued, connected to port #%s' % plateaued print 'Bottom: scintillator connected to port #%s' % bot wait4user() ## f = file(ask4aLog("Log file to output plateauing data to?", '.csv'), 'w') log = writer(DATA) log.writerow(["Scintillator voltage (V)", "Coincidence frequency ratio"]) while True: v = ask4num("Scintillator #%s voltage (V)?" % plateaued, kind=float) freq = _1plateauDatum(top, plateaued, bot, PLATEAU_DURATION) log.writerow([v, freq]) DATA.flush() if ask4bool("Done plateauing?"): break DATA.close() def dayNight(): setupParameters() nPeriods = ask4num("Number of periods?") duration = ask4num("Duration of periods (min)?", mini=2)*60 delay = ask4num("Time to wait before beginning experiment (sec)?") w = writer(DATA) w.writerow(["start", "end", "elapsed (s)", "coincidences", "frequency (Hz)"]) DATA.flush() base = time() doneInit = time() delay -= doneInit - base sleep(delay) for i in xrange(nPeriods): togo = duration oldcount = 0 total = 0 start = time() while togo > 0: count = coincidenceCount() if count < oldcount: total += oldcount oldcount = count sleep(60) togo -= 60 end = time() total += count elapsed = end-start w.writerow([strftime(start), strftime(end), elapsed, total, total/elapsed]) DATA.flush() DATA.close() def prompt4DataDir(): global DATA_DIR DATA_DIR = ask4dir("Log & data directory") def setupParameters(): connect() prompt4log() prompt4period() prompt4width() prompt4chans() ACTIVITIES = (("Calibrate scintillator",calibrationExpmt), ("Terminal interface to Quarkboard",terminal), ("Plateau scintillator",plateauExpmt), ("Perform day-night solar muon experiment",dayNight)) try: #prompt4logDir() prompt4log() ask4choice("Choose activity", ACTIVITIES)() finally: print "Goodbye!" print "Closing port...", try: PORT.close() except: pass print "done" print "Closing log file...", try: LOG.close() except: pass print "done" – simple console-based menu-driven user interface library from os.path import isdir from string import ascii_letters as _LETTERS, digits as _DIGITS _ACCEPTABLE = set(_LETTERS + _DIGITS + '_- ') del _LETTERS, _DIGITS def ask4bool(question): '''Asks the user a yes/no question. Returns a bool indicating their response.''' question += ": " while True: input = raw_input(question).lower() if input in ('yes', 'y'): return True elif input in ('no', 'n'): return False print "Invalid input. Must be either (y)es or (n)o." def ask4num(question, mini=None, maxi=None, kind=int): '''Asks the user for an integer within the given range.''' rng = ''.join(('(', str(mini) if mini is not None else '', '-', str(maxi) if maxi is not None else '', ')')) mid = " " + rng if mini is None and maxi is None: mid = "" prompt = question + mid + ": " while True: try: s = raw_input(prompt) if s != '0': s = s.lstrip('0') val = kind(s) except ValueError: print "Invalid input. Must be a valid decimal number." if (maxi is not None and val > maxi) or (mini is not None and val < mini): print "Invalid input. Not within valid range %s." % rng else: return val def ask4str(question, validator=None, errMsg="Try again."): '''Asks the user for a string for which "validator" returns True.''' question += ": " error = "Invalid input. "+errMsg while True: input = raw_input(question) if validator and not validator(input): print error else: return input def wait4user(): '''Does not return until user acknowledges the program''' raw_input("Press Enter to continue") print print def _validateFilename(name): '''Check that proposed filename contains only valid characters. Allowed chars are letters, digits, underscores, dashes, and spaces.''' for char in name: if char not in _ACCEPTABLE: return False return True _BAD_FILENAME_MSG = "Filename must contain only letters, digits, underscores, dashes, or spaces, and must not already be in use." def ask4file(prompt, validator): '''Asks the user for a filename that passes _validateFilename and the given "validator"''' def validater(s): return _validateFilename(s) and validator(s) return ask4str(prompt, validater, _BAD_FILENAME_MSG)

def ask4choice(prompt, titleValPairs):
'''Asks the user to choose an option from a list.''' prompt += ":"
while True:
print prompt
print '='*(len(prompt)+2)
for i, titleVal in enumerate(titleValPairs):
title = titleVal[0]
print "[%s]"%(i+1), title
choice = int(raw_input("Enter the number of your choice:
")) - 1
if choice > i or choice < 0: raise ValueError
print "Invalid input. Try again"
else: break
return titleValPairs[choice][1]

def ask4dir(prompt):
'''Asks the user for an existing directory.''' prompt += ': '
while True:
path = raw_input(prompt)
if isdir(path): return path
print "Directory does not exist. Try again."

Appendix B. - Raw count data

Data Table 2: Raw count calibration data for scintillator “A”table2


Data Table 3: Raw count calibration data for scintillator “B”table3


Data Table 4: Raw count calibration data for scintillator “C” Data Table 5: Raw count calibration data for scintillator “D”table4